ICSC Seminar: What’s going on with Bike Share schemes? 15th Nov.

Series Launch. Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change – Transdiciplinary Seminar Series.

Thurs 15 Nov. 16:00- 18:00

UCLan Adelphi Building, Rm AB226.

Dr. Mags Adams (ICSC) ‘Bike Share Schemes – a report on recent research’.

Dr. Mags Adams (UCLan ICSC) will be joined by Dr. Graeme Sherriff and Dr. Nick Davies (Salford University) to present the first ICSC seminar on cities and bike-sharing schemes, reporting on their research project in Manchester. Researchers from the Universities of Central Lancashire and Salford, in partnership with British Cycling, have investigated bike share in the context of Greater Manchester, and asked if bike share works, who it works for, and how it can work better. The project considered the reasons people use such services, the impact it has, and how we can help more people benefit from it.

The presentation will be followed by questions and discussion.

Refreshments will be provided.

The seminar is free – but to ensure a seat (and help us manage numbers) we would be grateful if you could register at this booking page:


  • Do bike share schemes work, who do they work for – and how they can work better?
  • What kinds of research collaborations can investigate these questions?

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Bike Share schemes are proliferating in cities across the world. These allow members of the public to borrow a bike to make a specific journey across the city. They started a few years ago, allowing riders to unlock a bike from one ‘docking rack’ and cycle it to another. More recently, ‘dockless’ bike share schemes have spread, which use smartphone apps and GPS to allow users to locate and utilise the nearest bike. While city public authorities have played a role in early bike share schemes around the world, the newer dockless GPS based systems often involve private enterprise.

Mobike, a dockless bike share company has hit the UK news headlines recently, with its decision to pull out of Manchester. Around the world, dockless bike schemes have caused controversy. Unlike dock based schemes, the dockless systems do not require planning permission and can escape regulation, often raising allegations about ‘rogue operators’ and ‘street clutter’. At the same time, bike share schemes have the potential to contribute to developing more sustainable and active cities. Furthermore, these new forms of both municipal and corporate sharing may be part of other social changes, for example in how they may reconfigure private, public and common forms of property.

Dockless Bike-Share schemes in Manchester and other cities have been the subject of considerable media attention and debate. For example:


The global spread of bike-share schemes is being mapped here, by Oliver O’Brien, a geographer at University College London (UCL):

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This seminar marks the start of a new series by the Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change. The series will explore the theory and practice of transdiciplinarity. It will address a range of questions that include: What is ‘transdiciplinary research, and why do we try it? What kind of issues and complexities can it help address? What are its problems? How can different disciplines be really brought and thought together? What might happen when communities beyond the academy and its disciplines get involves as research collaborators and peers? A range of speakers will address these questions in relation to research around ICSC themes.

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